The ATO has recently reported that a crafty new scam is catching out innocent taxpayers across the country. The scammers are initiating three-way conversations between themselves, the victim's and a second scammer impersonating the victim's tax agent.
An example of this included a recent situation where a taxpayer received a voicemail threatening five years jail time if the taxpayer didn’t contact the ATO regarding an outstanding debt.
The victim returned the call and was advised that the Federal Police were involved in their case and they needed to pay $9,000 immediately, or face jail time.
The victim provided the scammer with their tax agents phone number and the scammer dialled in the ‘tax agent’ (other scammer) via a three-way conference call.
The scammer claimed that the victims' tax agent was unavailable, but that they were from the same practice and could assist.
The ‘tax agent’ advised that there was an error with the victim’s tax return and he was required to pay the $9,000 at a specific location on the same day – the victim withdrew the cash and deposited it into a Bitcoin machine, per their instruction.
“It’s okay to hang up and call someone to check if the call is legitimate or not!” - ATO
If you receive a call like the example above, hang up immediately and call the ATO’s Scam Line on 1800 008 540 to check whether a call is legitimate or to report a scam.
Note that the information provided is general in nature and subject to change, please contact one of our professionals who can evaluate your circumstances and provide more accurate advice to your current situation.
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